H3D Foundation partners with clinical software developers, nuvoteQ, to strengthen the efforts to attract clinical trials to Africa and boost health innovation on the continent

Cape Town/Pretoria – In August 2023, the H3D-Foundation (H3D-F) and nuvoteQ signed an agreement to join forces in raising funds for and promoting the Clinical Trials Community (CTC) platform as a crucial tool to attract additional clinical trials to Africa. 

Accounting for 17% of the global population and bearing 25% of the global burden of disease, it seems incongruous that less than 3% of global clinical trials take place on the African continent. Those that do, are unevenly distributed and concentrated in only a few countries. 

As a result, most medicines are developed through clinical trials conducted outside of Africa without considering the implications of their use in African patients or within African health systems. 

This, despite the fact that it is widely accepted that medical interventions should be tested on diverse populations. African populations display high genetic variability, resulting in variability in response to treatment and disease prevalence/commonness across different ethnic groups. This is further influenced by additional social and environmental factors.

In an article recently published in the Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Dr Kelly Chibale, the Chairman and CEO of the H3D Foundation (H3D-F), mentioned the following: “Efforts are ongoing to establish regional hubs focused on clinical trials to enable increased collaboration, visibility and capacity strengthening. For example, the Clinical Trials community (CTC) maps out and connects the African clinical trial community, and the Pandemic Preparedness Platform for Health and Emerging Infections Response PANTHER) aims to have clinical trial frameworks in place before a disease outbreak, with the remaining work focused on adapting trials to local contexts and disease characteristics. However, there is an urgent need for an African clinical trials forum to articulate the unique opportunities in the continent and its key role in the global R&D ecosystem.”

Under the agreement, nuvoteQ.io, the designer and developer of the CTC Africa Platform will support the development of a Grant Management Platform (GMP) for the H3D-F to support the Foundation in its efforts to catalyse drug discovery innovation. 

H3D-F is currently supporting the development of drug discovery capacity at two South African historically disadvantaged institutions, University of Limpopo and University of Venda, as well as the Ghana drug discovery hub and supporting 8 pan-African grantees from the Grand Challenges Africa Drug Discovery Program. 

The aim with the GMP project is to explore further possibilities where drug discovery workshop applications and mentorship programme applications can be accepted and processed using the same foundational platform.

H3D-F and nuvoteQ are both proudly South African organisations with a key focus on not only promoting and showcasing researchers and research facilities on the continent, but also advancing clinical research capabilities in Africa. 

Any funding raised between the groups will be utilised to establish infrastructure, provide training, and facilitate collaboration among researchers and institutions to help accelerate clinical research. 

About nuvoteQ

nuvoteQ is a software company launched in 2015 to provide disruptive research solutions within emerging markets, eliminating the problems inherent in paper-based data collection methods. Their intelligence engine runs on their secure cloud-based infrastructure and allows their team of statisticians and data managers to do predictive analytics and enable adaptive clinical trial designs. They have helped Pharma Companies, Biotechnology Companies and Researchers run clinical trials on their platforms in more than 40 countries globally, servicing close to 400 research centres and managing more than 1m patient records. They are extremely passionate about the public health space and have partnered with several well-known philanthropic groups globally, to design and build platforms for the African continent. These platforms and initiatives include, but are not limited to: https://ctc.africa | https://rhinno.app | https://edctpalumninetwork.org/ | https://nafdac.smapply.io/ | https://ctcan.africa 

About H3D- Foundation (H3D-F)

H3D-F aims to position Africa as a global player in innovative pharmaceutical R&D by building infrastructure as well as the skills of African scientists and researchers. The Foundation further aims to serve as a convening platform and credible voice for evidence-based global health views. It was established in 2019 to build on the success of the H3D Centre’s capacity development programs, which include the Global Health Mentorship Program and the Grand Challenges Africa Drug Discovery Program, which engages more than 40 scientists in over six African countries.

For further information, please contact

Susan Winks




Adriaan Kruger